It is time to codify the use of telemental healthcare access through U.S. Congressional action.
Previously policy has focused on rural telemental healthcare delivery. H.R. 3432 strikes the “rural” and geographic language out of telemental healthcare delivery. It is replaced by “MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES FURNISHED THROUGH TELEHEALTH”. The change preserves telemental health services provided to all no matter where they receive care.
This is another win for mental healthcare delivery and will assure continued access to care through Federal Law.
Previous newsletters have addressed the “Telemendicine Is Here To Stay” concept but when it appears in the Harvard Business Review in a submission titled “It’s Time To Cement Telemedicine’s Place In U.S. Healthcare” we can rest assured of support at the highest levels of business and government policy. I suggest you read the article at the link below, it is a quick 5 minute read. The authors suggest 5 solutions that need to beddressed in the short term.
- Create easier pathways for out-of-state practitioners to treat patients across state lines via telehealth.
- Access to telehealth shouldn’t depend on patients’ physical location, their access to a specific type of technology, or the quality of their communications infrastructure.
- Quality payment structure rewards the effectiveness of care rather than the quantity delivered.
- All payers, public and private, should immediately cover and reimburse for telehealth services for underserved communities.
- Managing chronic diseases is costly, and not managing them is even more costly.
It is not unusual to see what is written in the HBR advance to public policy. Certainly it gives us an insight into the wa winds are blowing in telemental healthcare delivery.